Neighbors Say Homicide Victim, John Dahlinger Will Be Missed

Posted at 6:23 PM, Oct 17, 2013

Grand Rapids, Mich, — Police are still investigating a homicide on the Northeast side of Grand Rapids.

They say the victim is John Dahlinger, 56.

Investigators said his girlfriend came home to find him dead in the home they shared. She then called 911.

Autopsy results revealed that Dahlinger died of blunt force trauma.

Neighbors said it appeared he was brutally beaten, and there was no sign of a break-in.

“Melanie was overcome with grief,” said Marty Staal, friend and Neighbor. “It’s shocking, shocking to the neighborhood.”

Staal said Dahlinger and girlfriend Melanie Yanchuck lived at their home on Krislin Drive for a number of years.

Residents said they were a nice addition to the community.

Staal said some of her loved ones showed up to help.

“Shortly after that, Melanie came out of the house and a lady was there to put her arm around her and walk off together.”

Staal says his heart went out to her.

“I just can’t imagine the grief that Melanie must feel when she come home and found him in his condition. It’s just overwhelming for her I’m sure,” said Staal.

Neighbors say they had observed some suspicious men in the neighborhood lately.

“I reported to the police not too long ago that there were a two people walking through the neighborhood a couple of days ago that I thought was rather,” said Charles Mulder.

However, nothing that would indicate that someone’s life might be in danger.

“It’s rather a shocker. We feel as if we live in a really quiet, safe neighborhood,” said Mulder.

Staal said John served on board of both his condo and Paws With a Cause, an organization devoted to service dogs.

He says he will be missed.

“He’s a good neighbor,” said Staal. “I have no clue why anyone would be that upset with him.”